It’s December

It’s December and time to tell everyone about my songs in my It’s December album for everyone’s December holiday, especially the song, “It’s December.” It mentions all the December holidays.  Hear it at Spotify at  And if you like it you can download the album or any song in it at, or any of your other favorite sites like iTunes, Amazon, etc. My favorite line in it is: “Some will celebrate the eight days of Hanukah.  And some will decorate their big Christmas trees.  There’ll be folks lighting candles for Kwanzas. And the prayers of one and all will be “let there be peace.”

It was  a great pleasure making this Holiday album from top to bottom.

Jingle Bell Rock is my jazz five part harmony rendition of my old songwriter friends, Jim Booth and Joe Beale.

“It’s December” is a song I always wanted to write to celebrate all the holidays in December. The lyric goes: “Hey, it’s December And high time to celebrate For gettin’ through another year. Its been a long time waiting for the months to go by. But the great days are here again with tons of good cheer In December, can’t wait for the holidays and the great ways for spending time with family and friends you wish it wouldn’t end when you hear ’em playing Auld Lang Syne.”                                                                                      

Bridge: “Some will celebrate the eight days of Hannuka and some will decorate their big Christmas trees. There’ll be folks lighting candles for Kwanzaa and the prayers of one and all will be let there be peace. In December, the days we’ve been waiting for and kids like me lovin’ snow Comes the twenty-first and wintertime, ain’t  nothing like December time and it will never grow old.”                                                                                                          

“Hallelujah Rock” (Arr. Don Meehan) is another world record overdubbing my voice 136 times and put to a rock beat, with yours truly also doing all the instruments.                                                                           

“Hallelujah Chorus” (Arr. Don Meehan) is the a Capella version of my 136 voice “Chorus of One.”                                                                                                                                            

“Silent Night Out There Somewhere” (Arr. Ray Moore) is the sound track to my music video that is at  Global probes into the far reaches of space, and especially the recent Orion Project to probe possible life on Mars has prompted me to produce this video. Thanks to some Public Domain images and videos from NASA, Hubble, and STSci, and the video from Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology of “Curiosity Entry/Decent and Landing celebration, this video strongly suggests a realization and belief of a possible Christmas event with the birth of Jesus on some other planet, light years away from Earth.                                                                



Bob Dylan Captures 2016 Nobel Prize

I hope I helped a little in getting him the Nobel Prize

The announcement that Bob Dylan has been chosen to receive the coveted Nobel Prize for Literature is enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and take notice.


I can truthfully say that I did have a small hand in it in 1975.


© Nobel Media AB 2016

To hear that Bob Dylan is the Winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” just blows me away that I have been associated with a Nobel Prize Winner.

“Bob Dylan lands his fourth Multi-Platinum Album with his 1976 hit, ‘Desire.’ Dylan’s most acclaimed albums from the 1960s,” wrote the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) in 2013. I am so Proud to say that I engineered and mixed it and actually produced it while producer Don DeVito watched. Bob Dylan’s “Desire” Album was my best recording and a classic.

 Also, I’m proud to say I did Bob’s Hard Rain album and the celebrated single, Hurricane, from the album was used in the movie. It is most notable that these nine titles are part of Bob’s “Literature Achievement.”

Viewing that RIAA page, I also learned that in other Streisand news, Barbra’s 1967 release, “A Christmas Album,” certified at the five million sales mark. It was the first holiday album by a vocalist to reach the five million level. I am also very proud to say that I mixed that album. I’ll have a few words to say about one of her other albums down the road.

Well, the guys on an Internet forum were intrigued with my explanation there and wanted to know more about the Dylan “Desire” recording, so I wrote some more:

“Thanks guys, for inviting me in. I guess I’m proud to say that “Desire” was one of my best, if not my best recordings and a classic. By the way, Rob Stoner played great bass and Don Devito had the credits read: “This record could have been produced by Don Devito.”


desire could have been

Actually, I made all the production decisions, as well as recording, mixing, and mastering. The album made him a vice president for his entire career at Columbia/Sony, and he was gracious and generous to share his CBS bonus with me at that time for my production efforts. But there were no extra bucks after that. I had broken Don in earlier as a trainee in the A&R department, and then he became Walter Yetnikoff’s right hand man. He went on to greater heights with other names. No sour grapes. More on our combined efforts later with Hard Rain. “Desire” has now gone multi-multi-multi-multi platinum and hangs on the Music Wall at Meehan’s Irish Pub in St. Augustine, FL. (Please click on it)

Actually I have a a lot more, at least 30 or more platinum and multi-platinum awards  credited and certified by RIAA, but I’d have to pay the freight if I wanted one or more. I’ve heard that they run about $300 per. Let’s see; 30 X $300 = $9,000. That wouldn’t be very much out of Sony’s billions.

desire platinum

Oh well, at least I have the first Gold and Platinum for “Desire” and a Gold for “Hard Rain.”  On the left is my first Gold for Looking Glass’ “Brandy”

dylan-close-up-at-pub dylan-2-time-front-at-pub The Four Time Multi-Platinum Award hangs in Meehan’s Irish Pub in St. Augustine, FL, established by my late son, John Meehan               Photo by Reggie Maggs

The four million album seller “Desire” all began on or about July 7, 1975 at a recording session in Columbia Records New York Studio E, a small cozy and well equipped little room on the sixth floor of the old Vanderbilt family guest house at 49 East 52nd Street. I had already worked the whole day on another project when I got the word that Bob Dylan and some Columbia executives wanted me there. Don DeVito was Columbia President Walter Yetnikoff”s assistant and I had just recently broken Don in on studio workings and he was there and wanted me there to make things go smooth.


I ‘m honored to be on each side of Bruce Springsteen’s guitar on Meehan’s Irish Pub‘s Music Wall                                                                                                                                                                            Photo by Reggie Maggs


On the other side is my 3 time Multi-Platinum Award for Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence                                                                                                                Photo by Reggie Maggs

This was Bob’s first session on the new album, I knew from past experience that he liked to record live with absolutely no overdubbing instruments or vocals later. This unnerved me a bit since I had settled into a habit of recording things separately, especially vocals. I had mixed a few of Bob’s songs earlier working with the great John Hammond.

Well, musicians began arriving one after another and at last count, there must have been at least twenty, paying tribute to the great Bob Dylan.

There were no teachers; we learned on our own

I’m sure some readers will scoff and say this is old stuff, or that it is nothing new. But just let me say that we had no teachers. Every engineer guarded his (and I say his because there were no ladies) recording and mastering techniques and gave no clues to anyone coming in new. It was the “good ol’ boys,” the “control men,” the “mastering men,” the “maintenance men,” etc. Every session was an experiment, though, constantly trying new and outlandish and sometimes stupid things. One producer said to me once, “Don, you’re crazy.” Guess I was, as I was always experimenting with something outlandish. And back in those days, the engineers were the unsung heroes for some of the producers.



Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Emmy Lou Harris in Columbia Studio E on the first night of “Desire” – I’m in the control room hiding behind the board


I studied and learned from the Beatles’ records

When the Beatles came along and I saw the meters stay pinned at “0” or plus 4 level throughout a recording this was my clue to go for high energy on anything I recorded or mixed. When I came to Columbia in the 60’s at least 50 staff engineers and research men laughed at me for wanting a limiter and a Pultec in every mixing channel. At that time we had 40 watt monitor amps in the studio and 6 watt line amps in the mixing toms. Later my wants and demands became the norm and Columbia became the busiest studios in New York with 24 track. We could limit and equalize each track at will without patching.

Drums and bass are my favorites to record. Maybe because I’m a bass player too. In the corner of Studio E at Columbia Records at 49 East 52nd Street in NY we had a drum booth sound proofed and double glassed around the top. Dylan always recorded live with no overdubs, (except for the one cut, “Joey”, I talked him into adding accordion and guitar later).

Drums need isolation to prevent leakage into other microphones

It was important to have almost total isolation on drums. As with other drummers, I usually worked with Howie Wyeth for probably an hour or more getting the right sound. My standard procedure was to fold papertowels into about 3 by 5 inch pieces and tape them onto the top of the share with masking tape as he tuned. I would continue to add padding if necessary to get rid of the ring.

This was and is standard procedure for me after a lot of trial and error. I hate the ring of a snare when it isn’t dampened. Needless to say, this is still probably standard procedure anywhere you go. I used all dynamic mics, like Electrovoice RE 15 (on snare), RE 20, etc and 2 condensers for overhead all padded. Nine mics total onto nine tracks on the 24 track, Bass drum (with blankets inside), top of snare, bottom of snare (phase turned around to mix later with top of snare), high hat (pointing away from snare as much as possible), mic on each of 3 toms and 2 overhead. I would always limit the BD, snare and 3 toms, and gate the toms on the session. You really need the isolation for this.

Later in mixing my standard procedure was to gate the bass drum and gate the snare and mix the snare with the original top and bottom (phase turned around to match the top). Bass drum, snare and toms were limited again in the mix. EQ on snare was usually slight boost at around 1500. We had EMT echo units and one 6 floor stairwell. I liked a 4 or 5 second decay on the EMT and fed that to a tape machine at 15ips and back into the mix for the added delay. Echo was always EQ’d rolling off the bass and high end. Bass drum and Rob’s bass cut off at 60 to 100 and boosted at around 100 (and limited) got rid of unneeded low frequencies and allowed more room for everything else including the drums. I’ll have more on the bass and bass drum eq later on.

Quoting from Wikipedia: Spotlight is a 2015 American biographicaldrama film that follows The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States,[6] and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

Latest reports from the Vatican, and continued news of how certain cardinals globally continue to sidestep the issues of survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy, merely amplify the notion that it is business as usual with the centuries old device of protecting the Faith and the money at all costs.


Is Pay Cable TV Brainwashing Us?



Outlandish and unending commercials are embedded into our brains. But I have discovered a way to beat it.

Some of the pay television channels today are really something to be avoided, as rather sickening with their TV Brainwashing. In addition to paying for the services, we all are compelled to be totally saturated with carefully crafted commercials. How often we hear, “Call now,” or “You must act now,” or “Hurry, this sale will be over so don’t wait,” or “Operators are standing by,” or “Call in the next five minutes and we’ll double your order.” This all amounts to total TV Brainwashing by the agencies and companies who spend every minute of the day scientifically researching on how to hook you or con you, I should say. And don’t think for one minute that your sub-conscience hasn’t captured every word and has firmly embedded the product in your brain for later.

They promised little or no commercials back when

The advent of cable pay television was truly a welcome event when subscribers were assured that there would be little or no commercials to endure. The Internet is full of articles pertaining to TV Brainwashing techniques and ways of agencies and broadcasters manipulating and constantly storing of propaganda into your unwary brain to stimulate sales and more sales of stuff you don’t want nor need.

Half and half?

The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that there are no rules regulating the amount of airtime a television station or network — cable or otherwise — devotes to commercials, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spokesperson. One reporter there stated that he was watching a movie on Spike, and from 9:01 to 10:02 PM there were 30 minutes of commercials and 31 minutes of movie. At least the FCC restricts children’s programming to about 10.5 minutes of commercial matter per hour on weekends, and no more than 12 minutes of commercial matter per hour on weekdays. And that is bad enough, since the kids are also programmed to beg Mommy or Daddy

I recently clocked some programming on one cable network that amounted to almost the same time of half and half. Not fair. I should send a bill for the use of my time. Not knowing about the FCC report as above, and believing it was a rule to have about forty to forty-five minutes of program in an hour, I reported it to the FCC, and of course, there was no reply. Apparently the FCC is not interested in TV Brainwashing. I wonder who is?

Beating the bastards

But I have finally discovered a way to beat them in their game. I happen to subscribe to a service with a DVD recorder that is state of the art. It is actually recording a program when you first start watching and you see a red line showing the minutes since starting. You can rewind if you miss something or want an instant replay. If you tune to another channel it will generally start also recording there.  So if I am watching a one hour program, for instance, I will hit the record button and go to another channel that interests me and also start the record on that one. Or I might just tune in some good music and listen while taping the other program or programs. So what if I’m a few minutes behind?

Since I don’t have to be exactly in time with the programs, I let some time go by and then go to the top and play the program. As soon as the commercials start, usually eight or ten or so, I fast forward past all the commercials. Usually, depending on how long I wait to start watching, like fifteen minutes or so, I can avoid all the commercials, and skip all the intended brainwashing. Seasoned producers with their TV Brainwashing cleverly manipulate your brain into believing that you must have, or need, every single item presented. I sure don’t!

Setting Up & Reading Teleprompters


It Is Such A Bore to Watch Some Speakers Reading Teleprompters  – The act of Reading Teleprompters is truly an art. But it has really become obnoxious with some speakers. Most every one of them I have seen lately reading two glasses is totally unacceptable, especially amateur apprentice speaker Donald Trump. He is obviously new at it and an inexperienced amateur, who actually stares at one glass for minutes at a time. Hillary Clinton has developed a very natural way of reading, going back and forth while also genuinely connecting with an audience and with the camera.

The Prompters are usually Always Set At the Same Height as the Speaker – But the rub is that they are usually always set up at the speaker’s eye level and focused way above the audience’s heads. And there is no eye contact. The problem lies with the fact that the speaker is usually elevated on a stage about two feet or so raised. This puts a person speaking with eye level at approximately five feet, plus stage height, whereas the lower sitting audience eye level is somewhere between three and a half feet, sitting.

Reading Teleprompters With Proper Eye Contact – Addressing a crowd who are all sitting would require the speaker to have eye contact with them by looking down to their eye level. However, the person responsible for the Teleprompters placement usually always places them to each side of the speaker at his/her eye level on stage. Therefore, when the person reads with the head moving left to right, there is an obvious appearance of him/her looking out not into the eyes of the live audience, but way above them, and in fact, a good three and a half feet over their heads.

A Proper Adjustment Provides A More Sincere Approach – A simple solution appears to be to simply lower the prompter glasses about six or eight inches on each side and do a slight adjustment with its angle. This would have the speaker now looking at and through the prompter glass as if they are also having eye contact with the audience. This is not off the wall since here is copied from an ad showing the adjustment:

“VARIABLE HEIGHT/ANGLE ADJUSTMENTS – The best speech is one where the speaker can achieve direct eye contact with the most people. That is difficult to achieve when his/her head stays in one, fixed location. Every speaker who walks up to the podium is not the same height. Nor do they read best at the same angle of screen. This is why we have created the most adjustable glass for stage teleprompters on the market. Easily adjustable angles will ensure that the speaker can have great eye contact with the audience, while seeing and reading the text clearly.”

However, the ad shows Obama, but he’s always looking out over their heads in his speeches while reading teleprompters. Why can’t they get it right so the person speaking doesn’t appear so obvious and phony? And so I ask, if they may possibly be using outdated stuff that doesn’t adjust, or is it that they just don’t know any better how a speaker should be reading teleprompters?

When Computers Try To Out Think Us

Its amazing how Computers try to out think us. These days of advanced technology seems to have created more circumstances for extreme frustration when “Interneting,” and  Don’t know if that’s a word or not but I guess it should be. Anyway, I think I have found a way to get stuff off my chest when something doesn’t work right at a website. As a for instance, I was doing a usual filling in the blanks routine on a well known site that was taking hours to complete, when I became so furious and upset that I threw the switch to off. As usual, the instructions are always somewhere else and not handy. Or else you go there only to find you can’t get back. Or if you do get back you find that what you have written is either erased or embedded somewhere still half done, or gone completely. I wasn’t even half way through the process but I had had enough.

The clincher was when I finally found some wording to click on that read “If you have technical issues or concerns regarding your personal account the Support Team is available 24/7 to help you.” And when I clicked finally expecting some good people contact, there was none, but pages and pages of answers to questions that I wasn’t asking. But no humans. What gives? And then, totally boiling over with rage, I selected to compose my complaint to these smart ass bastards in my word processor so I could paste it into the proper place on their forum. I’m not identifying them but here is how it went:


And then there was some more blocks to going on the forum. So there I am, all alone facing my computer screen, totally and absolutely furious up against a bricker than brick wall, (another new word?) No one to blow steam to. So I emailed it to myself. The next day I saw it in my mail and I read it. And you know what? I felt better reading it. It wasn’t sent to them, but I reflected on the fact that my opinion wouldn’t matter to them, and that I would definitely be a thorn and would never ever be in their good graces. And I got it off my chest quietly screaming it on the keyboard. But I discovered something new for me here on how to discard some bitterness and total frustration.

For what it’s worth, those words went out there, who knows where or how far and back for me to see and reflect on if I want to on what automatic really means in today’s world. It’s almost like screaming loud in a big soundproof empty room, or throwing punches at a hanging bag.

So will I try it again? Sure, may as well, since I need them more than they need me, except for the $$ they’ll be collecting from me. And who knows but what their brilliant young master mind geeks may have been doing maintenance so their computers can continue to out think us all.

Lastly, I guess I am glad for the snafu since I decided to change my wording significantly if I do follow through.

Another Donald Speaks Out re The Holidays

“Its December” is a holiday song that includes the beliefs of those other than Christian.

From this Donald to that other Donald: My new song, IT’S DECEMBER, is my answer to Thee Donald’s campaign to obliterate every December holiday celebration, every other belief system, and good times from December existence, all except Christmas. I also love Christmas time, and I also respect all the other beliefs. My new song, IT’S DECEMBER at from my new CD of the same title, may be the first song that mentions the celebration of Hannukka, Christmas and Kwanzaa. And by the way, Starbucks coffee in their red cups and all their other stuff is the best. After giving a lot of thought about the December holidays, I felt it appropriate to write a song that expressed appreciation for all the thoughts and beliefs of all others besides Christians, and their God given right to believe in other than just Christmas, and the birth of Jesus.

My It’s December album, released last December and up for sale and listening on about 28 different websites, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and CDBaby, features some Christmas songs and an arrangement of “Silent Night” suggests a Silent Night Christmas event on a far off planet. An Ebay video of it at drives the message home. And my song, “It’s December, I believe, may be the first holiday song ever to mention and underline the celebration of the other holidays in December, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, the arrival of Winter on the 21st, and kids like me loving the snow, and wishing it wouldn’t end. Not just about Christmas. You can hear it at

So, please give it a listen and if you agree with my thinking, please spread the word, and maybe we can get enough ears to hear a different point of view than what that other Donald may be demanding about only celebrating s december cd photo